June 16, 2015 / 3:40 PM / 4 years ago

Patient with suspected MERS virus admitted to Czech hospital

PRAGUE (Reuters) - A Prague hospital admitted a patient who may have contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, a spokesman for the hospital said on Tuesday.

The patient had traveled from South Korea, where an outbreak has infected 154 people and killed 19 since it was first diagnosed in May. He is staying in an isolation ward at Prague’s Bulovka hospital pending tests, the spokesman said.

“He was admitted due to his symptoms, where he had been, and his condition,” Martin Salek said.

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in the Czech Republic so far.

Earlier on Tuesday, German officials said a man died of complications stemming from the virus in northwest Germany. In Slovakia, a test showed a South Korean man suspected of having MERS was not infected.

The outbreak in South Korea is the largest outside Saudi Arabia, where the disease was first identified in humans in 2012, and has stirred fears in Asia of a repeat of a 2002-2003 scare when Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) killed about 800 people worldwide.

MERS is caused by a corona virus from the same family as the one that caused SARS. It is more deadly than SARS but does not spread as easily.

Reporting by Patra Vodstrcilova; Writing Jan Lopatka; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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